Fragments of 400-year-old carpet recovered from North Sea wreck go on display

A fragment of carpet showing a lion.
One of the pieces of carpet. Photo: Museum Kaap Skil

Fragments of a carpet that survived 400 years at the bottom of the Waddenzee have gone on display on the island of Texel.

The 13 pieces were recovered from a wreck that also contained a dress from the court of King Charles I of England. Archaeologists say the ship, discovered by local divers in 2009, is a ‘time capsule’ because of the well-preserved state of the artefacts.

Experts believe that the carpet, which contains images of real and mythical beasts such as lions and dragons, was woven in north-western India in the 17th century, based on the colours and techniques used.

It is thought to have belonged to the ship’s captain or a dignitary on board the trade ship, whose cargo mostly comprised palm wood, myrrh and incense.

The fragments will be on display as part of the Diving Into Details exhibition at the Kaap Skil museum on Texel until mid-February.

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